The Jakarta Post
By British School Jakarta
Parents’ decision-making process: The challenges
Choosing the right school for our children is one of the toughest decisions that parents can ever make. As parents, we are all aware that the choices we make will cause such a huge difference in our children’s lives. The impact of these choices is heavily weighed by the safety and security of students, the type of curriculum that the school offers and how the school supports the individual child in their learning process. Will my child be happy and fulfilled at the school? Also, something that is always a consideration: Will my child succeed in moving successfully to tertiary education?
What differentiates a good school from a great school? This is very interpretative for a family and very often it is down to the “feel” of the school and the synergy between the family and the school. A great school is often one that is comfortable in its skin as a school that provides an academically rigorous and successful curriculum, that is then matched by the holistic integration of skills and opportunities that enable the learning and teaching to go beyond the classroom.
British School Jakarta’s world-class curriculum: The highlights and university acceptance
Our curriculum is driven by inquiry and knowledge. Since 2018, the school has undertaken a pivotal revisioning of its academic curricula for ages 4 to 18. The rationale behind this was to bring in more inquiry-based learning to accompany knowledge acquisition across the age range at the school. We needed to create clear foundations of learning that could be supported and added to year on year as a student progresses through the school.
The Primary School curriculum is exactly that model of inquiry through the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) supported by elements of English National Curriculum and GL assessment. To continue the inquiry model, BSJ has brought in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) short course that enables us to maintain a continuum of learning from Primary into the Secondary School. Our International Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) teaching and learning are of an exceptionally high standard. BSJ also recognized the need for an additional academic exit stream out of the school and BSJ is an authorized IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) school.
In terms of student wellbeing, since January 2019 BSJ has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and both students and staff have received training on their Compassionate Systems approach to education. By training both students and staff simultaneously, we can create a powerful vortex of discussion on how to ensure that, as a community, we can move forward and address key areas of school life openly and transparently. The school has been fostering other notable wellbeing programs to augment together a wellbeing program that is both age-appropriate and progressive in dealing with the real situations that young people face today.
From Kindergarten to Year 6, children have continued learning-filled days that have challenged them, and in doing so, inspired us all to discover new skills and new modes of learning. Not forgetting the need to make sure we nurture and support the wellbeing of our children at such a crucial time, our wellbeing team, teachers and leaders have implemented several measures.
As a school, we constantly look at the years ahead; 2030 for example. We know that the world will be very different (we are certainly having that experience now!). There is the entrepreneurship program that is run by 7BillionIdeas, a UK-based company that visits the school regularly to do courses such as Mini MBA’s for Primary students, Reaching Potential for our teenagers and How to Make My First Elevator Pitch for our soon to be graduates. All these are embedded, thorough and successful parts of our program. This is the holistic side of BSJ.
In the Secondary School we stuck to the curriculum timetable, although, as time went on, we adapted the timing of the lessons and adopted a blended model with most lessons face-to-face, some support lessons and some independent/collaborative lessons. When the campus was open we held several Parent workshops and Parent Liaison groups. After going online and to ensure that parents were kept informed and supported we held Parent Meets quite regularly.
The journey enables our students to attain exceptional academic results and entry into the best universities in the world such as the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), Berkeley and Cornell University in the United States, Oxford University and Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, to Nanyang Technology University, and the University of Melbourne in the Asia-Pacific. For the graduating students of 2019/2020, we have acceptance in top universities in the US such as Northwestern, Cornell, NYU and also in the UK such as London School of Economics (LSE), Imperial and University College London (UCL).
British School Jakarta’s world-class facilities: The highlights and students’ achievements
. (Courtesy of British School Jakarta/.)
BSJ is blessed with facilities that allow students to play sports regularly and at a high level of competition, and the teams train from dawn to dusk. The school sits on an 18 hectare site that provides world-class education and facilities, including bespoke teaching and learning in the classroom, a 750-seat theater, sports facilities, a music and language center, five full-sized football fields, twelve badminton courts, three basketball courts, five semi-indoor tennis courts, a gym, a dance studio, a rock climbing wall, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, science laboratories, computer laboratories, a foreign language center and a theater hall.
Highlights of the season included the boys’ football team winning the Southeast Asia Student Activities Conference (SEASAC) and the senior girls winning the Jakarta Area Athletic Conference (JAAC) competition. A BSJ student in Year 6 won the overall Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) gymnastics competition for Level 4, and our swimming team’s continued domination of the JAAC competition consolidated the strengths of our year-long programs. The strong placement of our age group teams in all Jakarta Middle Sports Association (JAMISSA) competitions suggest that the future of sports at BSJ remains bright.
Some major events included the production and performance of Peter Pan: a Musical Adventure and The Beaux’ Stratagem, which were performed by Year 10 to 13 students. In 2019, BSJ also hosted the ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association) TAPS (Theatre Programme Symposium) for IB theatre students from throughout Asia and took part in the All Jakarta Honors Orchestra in Term 1. We continued to push the boundaries of what was possible in school performances through stunning set, costume and lighting design to enhance the singing, dancing, acting and even flying of our committed and talented students.
Considering all the benefits to students and parents, it is not an exaggeration to say that BSJ is more than a school. The learning journey itself matters, and here, it is celebrated wholeheartedly.